The same sorts of dhimmitude and bending over backwards for Muslims happens daily in the U.S. too. via Police criticized for apologizing to Ottawa Muslims for Ramadan arrests.
OTTAWA — There is one law for all Canadians, and no religious group should expect special treatment when it comes to enforcement of the law, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday.
The remarks were made in response to reports that RCMP officers had apologized for arresting Muslims on terrorism-related charges during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
On Aug. 25, the RCMP and Ottawa Police arrested two Ottawa men — Hiva Muhammad Alizadeh, Misbahuddin Ahmed — on terrorism-related charges. A third man, Khurram Syed Sher, was arrested elsewhere.
The next day, Aug. 26, the RCMP and city police staged a special, hour-long meeting with members of Ottawa’s Muslim community with the ostensible purpose of ensuring them that their community was not regarded with undue suspicion despite the arrests. However, at least one officer was heard apologizing during meeting for the arrests having occurred during Ramadan, which ran last year from Aug. 12 to Sept. 9.
Asked Thursday about the apology, Harper said: “In fairness this is an operational matter for the RCMP and I wouldn’t pretend to know all the details and aspects of the story. But the general approach that this government would expect to see (from law enforcement agencies) is that the law, our important laws, are enforced every day of the year.”
Prominent members of the Muslim Canadian Congress applauded the prime minister’s remarks, saying it is about time that senior government officials emphasized the unitary nature of Canadian law, and that religious sentiment cannot be allowed to interfere with the law.
“He (Harper) is right,” said Salma Siddiqui, vice president of the Congress. “We have one law in Canada and it applies to everybody. We need to stop all this political correctness.”
“The notion that in Ramadan you can’t arrest people is so foolish,” Tarek Fatah, a founding member of the Congress, told a Calgary radio station.
There is no reason for police to explain or apologize to the Muslim community when they arrest a Muslim, Siddiqui said. The notion that Muslims needs special treatment or that their religious sensibilities need to be addressed is both patronizing and condescending, and effectively sets Muslims apart from other Canadians.
Siddiqui attended the Aug. 25 meeting, and while she could not remember which RCMP officer issued the apology, she recalled there being one.
“There was an apology because of the month of Ramadan. He said the RCMP were sorry the arrest was made during Ramadan. He also said they would keep the meeting short because it was breaking the fast of Ramadan.”
Siddiqui found the whole outreach exercise irritating. “At the meeting I commented, ‘Would you apologize to other Canadians if you arrested someone on Christmas?’”
Siddiqui said police diversity committees should be dismantled because they have been taken over by what she referred to as “Islamists.”
Fatah echoed that view, saying too many Canadians institutions, including the RCMP, are crumbling beneath the pressures of political correctness and are making themselves susceptible to infiltration by extremists.
At the time of the August meeting — sponsored by the RCMP A Division’s Diversity Consultation Committee and the Ottawa Police department’s Community and Police Action Committee — RCMP spokesman Cpl. Wayne Russett said it was intended “to open the lines of communications, to dispel any rumours and alleviate any fears” following the arrests.
However, prior to the meeting, Russett reportedly wrote to would-be participants in an email, saying: “To show support to our Muslim brothers and sisters during Ramadan, there will be not food or drink during this most important meeting. This meeting is for one hour only, in order to observe prayer time and the breaking of the fast during Ramadan.”
Why is there even a Muslim Canadian Congress?